Does the appearance of an online store matter? Check how to sell
Internet sales are gaining more and more popularity. Every year there are more and more online stores - from the small ones with handicrafts, to clothing or electronic multibrands. Along with the development of e-commerce, the sphere of services for store owners is also developing. New store platforms, integrations and countless possibilities to customize the appearance of the website are created. However, in order to sell, it is not enough just to have a store. Usability and optimization are important here, as well as the appearance of the online store, so that the customer has the opportunity to comfortably shop. Check how to design a store so that users do not go to the competition.
The appearance of the online store - standards in e-commerce
The largest online stores - they are the main trendsetters in e-commerce. Above all, they have the greatest ability to test customer behavior and have the resources to respond quickly to changes. They conduct UX (user experience) research and examine a number of other factors that affect purchasing preferences (e.g. geographically, political, internal legal restrictions). Therefore, it is worth asking yourself the question: who is our client? Depending on whether they are women, young people or residents of a given country, the appearance of the online store must correspond to this group. In some countries, Paypal is more trusted, and elsewhere 90% of purchases can be finalized by card. It is worth communicating the most important things in the form of sliders or banners.
It has been assumed that the online store should have several elements on the home page to facilitate navigation. After all, not every customer immediately comes to the store for shopping. Some people collect information about the brand or return to the website after making purchases to check, for example, delivery time, terms of returns, or the place of the company's headquarters. To do this, let's create a footer at the very bottom of the page. The footer should contain all the permanent elements of the page, preferably in the form of intuitive links to:
information about deliveries (costs, shipping time, names of courier companies),
information on available payment methods,
contact page (form and contact details).
In addition, the footer can include a site map, links to social plugins (if we use, for example, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) and a place to enter an email address for the newsletter. In this way, we make it easier for the customer to find information and, if necessary, to contact the owner of the store.
The next elements of the home page can be interpreted more freely, in terms of a given business. The standard division into product categories is assumed, which narrow down the selection field and make it easier to find a specific product. It is recommended that the selection menu does not overwhelm the page. Regardless of whether we choose the side menu or the top menu, there should not be too many items. It is also worth considering the construction of the menu in the context of a mobile website. If the menu is too extensive (more than 6-7 main categories), the website will be chaotic and the whole thing will be unreadable. Alternatively, you can design a drop-down menu with subcategories that will help to relieve the crowd of content, maintaining the aesthetics of the page and not disturbing the composition - if we do it skilfully, we can be sure that the appearance of the online store will retain its character.
The appearance of the online store and the presentation of the product
The customer in the online store does not have the same options as during standard shopping in a shopping mall. He cannot touch the product, assess its weight, size or texture. That is why it is not the photos themselves that are so important, but their quality. It is worth using packshot photos, i.e. professional photos on a white background. As a supplement, photos of the natural use of the product can be published - this arouses interest and gives a better idea of the object of purchase. The chair shown against a white background looks different than when someone is sitting on it.
It has been assumed that after clicking on the photo, you can open it to the width of the entire window and use the so-called magnifying glass, i.e. a preview of the selected fragment of the photo approximately. Animations or short films presenting the application of the product are also a great complement to the photography. You can place similar products or products from the same series next to it - you never know if the same product in a different color will prove to be more desirable by a potential customer.
Photos should be supplemented with descriptions. Both the technical one (weight, dimensions, density) and the more functional one are optimal. Descriptions are also invaluable in terms of search engines and SEO. It is important that they are comprehensive enough to persuade the customer to buy or contact the store directly. Although these elements may seem trivial, they significantly affect the appearance of the online store.
Design of a shopping cart in an online store
In the online store, one of the most important elements is the basket. Usually, its thumbnail is placed at the top of the page, next to the search engine and the login area. It's good if it shows the number of added products on an ongoing basis - then the customer feels like in a real store. By adding products to the basket, he has the ability to control the amount and make sure that he has not forgotten anything.
After clicking on the full basket, you are usually redirected to the purchase path. If so far we have used a very diverse graphic design, sliders and side boxes - we should limit them to a minimum in the basket. Nothing should distract the customer from proceeding to payment and completing the purchase. However, it is good to take care of the appropriate security certificates and offer as many forms of payment as possible. Credit cards, Paypal, fast transfers - it should all be there. Let's not forget about cash on delivery.